How to take photos or videos on a Chromebook

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Aina Prat Blasi
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The Chromebook's camera wasn't just designed for video conferencing. You can use it to take photos, selfies and even record videos. In this tutorial, we will walk you through different methods of taking photos and recording videos on Chromebook.

To top it all off, we also offer you some extra tips to help you get the most out of your Chromebook's camera. By the time you finish reading this article, we hope you've become a "photo expert with Chromebook".

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1. How to take photos or videos on Chromebook using the pre-installed camera app

Chromebooks ship with the camera application built into ChromeOS. Here's how to use the app to take photos and record videos on your Chromebook.

  1. Tap the start icon in the lower left corner of the shelf.
  2. Click the up arrow button to open the ChromeOS app viewer.
  3. Tap or click the camera icon to launch the Camera app.

Suggestion: you can quickly launch the Chromebook's camera using the Google Assistant. Say “Hey Google. Record a video “the camera app will open, take a photo or record a video.

4. The Camera app is always in Photo mode by default, so click the shutter icon to take a photo. To record a video, go to the tab Video and click the Register icon.

The photos taken in the card Square they will have a square size or proportions. This is perfect for taking Instagram photos without having to worry about resizing or cropping.

What are the Camera app icons for?

You will find some icons in the left sidebar when you open the Camera app on your Chromebook. Here's what the icons and their functions mean:

1. Timer: this is the stopwatch icon at the bottom of the sidebar. Click this icon to capture photos with a 3 second delay after clicking the shutter icon. You can change the duration of the timer delay to 10 seconds in the camera menu.

2. Grid: do click the square icon that looks like a tic-tac-toe to show the grid in the camera windows. Grid lines help straighten and level subjects in photos. Note that grids do not appear in captured photos.

3. Mirroring: allows you to change the horizontal orientation of a photo in real time. Suppose you want to capture a book image but the texts on the book are in the opposite direction, click this icon to flip the photo preview from left to right or vice versa.

4. Settings: you will find more camera configurations in the settings menu. Click the gear icon to change the camera resolution, timer duration and grid type.

5. QR code: you can scan Quick Response (QR) codes on your Chromebook directly from the Camera app. Click the square maze-shaped icon in the camera at the top right of the camera window and center the QR code in the code search window.

The Camera app will display a link and a copy button when it detects a QR code.

6. Camera Switch: you'll find a toggle icon on the left sidebar if your Chromebook has two built-in cameras. This icon will also appear in the camera window if there is an external camera connected to the Chromebook.

7. Microphone: there is a microphone icon in the upper left corner of the Video window. Click the icon if you want to mute the sound during recording.

8. Video Snapshot: the Snapshot button is the white circle above the Stop button. Click this button while recording to take a photo / snapshot of a scene in the video.

9. Pause: do click this icon to temporarily stop recording a video. Note that your Chromebook will save a paused video when you minimize the Camera app. However, if you close the Camera app without stopping recording, the video will be deleted from the device.

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2. How to take photos on Chromebook in tablet mode

If you're using a convertible Chromebook that folds into a tablet or one with a detachable keyboard, you can take photos with the volume buttons. Launch the Camera app and press the button increase o volume reduction to take a photo.

Note that the volume buttons only work as a shutter when the Chromebook is in tablet mode. If you're using the Chromebook as a laptop, the volume buttons will only increase or decrease the volume level.

3. How to make a video or take photos on Chromebook via third party app

Although the stock camera app on ChromeOS produces decent quality images and videos, there are some amazing camera apps that offer the best photo experience. Some of these third-party apps come with advanced sports camera features like background blur, unique stickers, high-end filters, etc.

Typically, many Android camera apps on the Play Store should work on Chromebooks. We recommend that you try some of the apps in our best camera apps. They are compatible with ChromeOS and worked perfectly on our Chromebook.

View photos and videos on Chromebook

There are several ways to view photos and videos on a Chromebook. We list some of them below.

From the Files app

On ChromeOS, photos and video recordings from the Camera app are saved in the system-generated Camera folder. Launch the Files app, go to I my files > Camera and double-click or tap your photos and videos to view them.

For Chromebooks with Chrome OS 76 or earlier, the Download is the default directory for photos and videos. So, if you don't find a Camera folder in the Files app, go deeper into the Downloads folder.

Multimedia files (photos, videos, GIFs, etc.) from third-party applications are saved in the directory Images.

By default, the Chromebook will open media files using the built-in Gallery app. To use another app, select or long-press the file and click the drop-down button apri on the menu bar. Next, select your favorite app.

To change the default media viewer, click Change default and choose the default app for viewing photo files.

You will need to repeat this step to change the default video playback app. Select a video file, click the drop down button apri, select Change default and choose your favorite app.

View photos and videos from the Camera app

It's quite simple: click on the thumbnail of the most recent video or image you captured. The thumbnail of the image is located just below the shutter icon.

This will open the built-in Gallery app. Click the left arrow icon to view the previous photo / video or right arrow icon to view the next item. To edit photos within the Gallery app. On the menu bar, click the icons to the right of the divider to add filters, crop, rotate, resize or annotate your photo.

The default video player has the basic controls you need. There's a play / pause button, a mute icon, a volume slider, full screen mode, and a picture-in-picture option - click the three menu icon points to access picture in picture.

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Take photos, create memories

A Chromebook's camera isn't usually high-end, so don't expect photo and video quality to be as good as that of your smartphone. An external webcam could improve the quality of photos and videos when you take a photo on your Chromebook.

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Further Reading:

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